makotosagara: (H/D)
[personal profile] makotosagara
Title: Here But For the Grace of Merlin
Author: Makoto Sagara
Series: Harry Potter
Archive: fanfiction.net/~makotosagara, mediaminer.org, makochanupdates.livejournal.com, adultfanfiction.net; anywhere else, please ask first
Category: angst, pre-slash, smut, romance
Pairings: Harry/Draco, Ron/Hermione
Warnings: Angst, OOC, DH spoilers (minus Epilogue), language, violence, self-harm, drinking, slash, smut, non-con, BDSM (whatever seriously fucked up things come to mind this time around)
Summary: The final battle left those with the Mark stained more than skin-deep, and the war has left its own mark on the others at the Battle of Hogwarts. However, when Harry's distancing from his friends leads to a nearly fatal accident, Draco has a chance to fulfill a lift-debt he owes to the Boy Who Lived, but he's only doing it because Narcissa is insisting.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is owned by J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Publishing, and Warner Bros and some other stupid companies. We make nothing from this piece of fanfiction, and suing would be pointless, unless you like lint and bad skin!

Author’s Notes: I’m really sorry that it took me so long to get back to writing. However, once I started this, I couldn’t stop. So, hopefully you guys are still with me after two years!

Chapter Twenty-One—Repercussions

Harry waited until he and Draco were a safe distance away from Hermione and his former best friend before he turned on the blond, his temper and magic still ready to strike out with little provocation. “What did you think you were doing, Draco?” he snarled viciously.

The blond’s grey eyes widened visibly before his entire face shut down, making him appear so much like his father that Harry had to take a deep breath to stop from attacking him. “I am unsure what you are asking, Harry,” he replied coolly.

“I told you to let me handle Ron, but you just had to have your say, didn’t you?”

“Of course,” the blond said heatedly, losing the iciness that Harry detested. “I wasn’t going to let someone like Weasley come onto my property and speak to my guests however he wanted. The Light might have won the war, but that doesn’t give him the right to trespass, destroy private property and disturb the peace. He’s lucky that I don’t call the Aurors and have him arrested.”

“Merlin, you’re so bloody annoying,” Harry shot back. He didn’t want to be flattered that his former nemesis was taking such an interest in keeping him safe. He didn’t want to think the git was mildly attractive when he was openly passionate about something. No, he didn’t want to, but that didn’t stop it from happening. Nor did it stop the way he wanted to kiss him right then and there either. Nope, not a single bit.

“Then that makes two of us,” Draco replied, turning his attention to where the former paramours seemed to be having a very heated argument. Harry was nearly about to join him when he saw the way that the other wizard was dishevelled and his robes torn. He reached out and touched the surgical slices to the thick fabric of the robes and shirt underneath. The pale skin under was unblemished, however.

“Draco, why did you just stand there while my magic shredded your clothes?”

“Barely noticed a thing, Potter,” was the barely-there reply as Harry continued to lightly touch the exposed bits of flesh before he pulled his hand back, a cold fear creeping up inside at just how out of control his temper and magic was due to this whole stupid Magical Backlash business. “Wonder what Weasley and Granger are talking about though. She seems rather agitated.”

“Well, considering how well our conversation with Ron just went can’t be anything good.” Harry scrunched up his face before moving his hand away from Draco’s back and looking at the other man’s face. He seemed like an overly pleased Nundu right then. For the life of him, Harry couldn’t really think of a reason why Draco would be so bloody happy, all things concerned, but then wasn’t the time to ask either.

“No. That’s final,” Hermione’s voice said harshly as she stepped away from the gate, her Silencing Charm shattering with no notice. “If you can’t even talk to us civilly, and I mean all of us, Ron, then I want nothing to do with you. Don’t contact me again until you’ve gotten some sense knocked into you, preferably in a reasonable manner.” She stomped over to Harry and Draco but continued on into the Manor, barely pausing to call back to the two. “Well, are you going to stand there or what?”

Harry looked over at Draco, who shook his head and walked calmly into his own home behind the bushy-haired girl without a word. With an amused snort, Harry followed.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The thought of Harry’s calloused fingers brushing against his back through the shreds of his robes and shirt earlier had carried Draco through checking in with his mother, until he could go to his room. No sooner had he shut the door with strong Locking and Silencing Charms than Draco had his tattered clothes on the floor and his throbbing erection in hand. That much power being wielded with such precise control was intoxicating. Adding in Harry’s pretty green eyes, lovely smile, and thick, sexy hair was all that the blond needed before he was crying out in pleasure violently. And it didn’t even bother him that it was his school rival that had caused this at all.

As he leaned against one of the posters to his ornate bed, Draco panted with a blissed smile on his face. Granger and his mother were obviously correct in their assumptions that Harry was attracted to him. There was no other way to explain the soft touch and the concerned tone to his voice in the middle of a heated confrontation with Weasley that made sense.

Merlin, how he wanted the Boy Who Lived, wanted to kiss him, feel his skin, and taste his breath. But, he could wait. The debt of honour was still a heavy weight between them and at least one more conversation was necessary alone before Harry’s reluctance gave way to what was going to happen.

And in the meantime, well, Draco would have to take a good, hard look at himself and the things he’d done and said before then. And wank more, probably.

The glee he’d felt all those months ago upon hearing about Harry’s falling out with Weasley returned with a viciousness that would have suited his grandfather Abraxas. A refused handshake was being paid back in spades now, and he only had to wait a bit longer and he could get everything he wanted. Everything.

Patience wasn’t a particularly great strong point for him, but it would have to be. He’d make it.

This was more than worth it.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

After the talk with Narcissa, Hermione had left Malfoy Manor, saying she needed to go home and check on her parents. As reluctant as he was to have her go after everything that’d happened, Harry could see that the confrontation and her private talk with Ron had left her running low on any sort of energy to play nice with the family. With a tight hug and a promise to stop off in the morning, the girl left and Harry was alone with a house full of Malfoys.

Draco’d disappeared shortly after to change, Harry thought, and that meant the dark-haired teen was sitting in the front parlour with Narcissa Malfoy. He watched her, trying to be discreet, but he could tell she knew. She was wearing that pleased little smile he’d learned to equate with her getting her way in things. And, from a certain point of view, it did look that way.

“Is there something I can help you with, dear?” she asked calmly, her polished voice reminding him of the shows his Aunt Petunia had favoured so heavily when he was  a child, but more precise. It was the voice of a woman of class and style, but there was warmth and kindness there that no one would have ever suggested to the woman who he’d met before Fourth Year at the World Cup, or even before Sixth Year. “You’ve been quiet today, Harry.”

“Just thinking about a lot of things, I guess. Everything just seems to have happened in such a short amount of time and…” He shrugged. “I feel a little out of place here.”

“The Manor?” The woman’s piercing blue eyes made Harry squirm for a second. “If there’s anything that I or Draco can do to change that, you need only ask. I hope that you know that by now, Harry.”

“I do, but it’s not just here at the Manor. It’s the Wizarding World. It’s with Muggles. It’s everywhere.” He sighed heavily, wishing they were still in the library that had a great view of those stupid white peafowl that Lucius raised. “Hogwarts is the only place I’ve ever felt…like I belonged, but that’s over and done with. Everyone wanted me to go work for the Ministry or to play Quidditch or to marry Ginny Weasley and I thought that I knew what I wanted, but—” He snorted. “I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

“Pretty sure that Jacobi’s right that I’ve been trying to find surrogate parents this whole time. Never really had any, and now I’m supposed to be an adult without anyone telling me how that works.”

He wasn’t really surprised when Narcissa got up from the window seat and sat next to him on the couch. He was surprised when she took one of his hands in her own and smiled sadly at him.

“I can see how that would be difficult. I won’t lie and say that I know how you were raised with your relatives. No one has told me and any account that has come out since the war ended seems to be unreliable at best. However, I know that you don’t have to have all of the answers right away. You’re only eighteen and will live for a hundred years more if you’re lucky.

“You’re moneyed, handsome, young, brave and smart. What you do know is up to you and you alone. Yes, Draco must assist you in finding a spouse, but that doesn’t have to be right this second now that you’ve agreed to allow him to do so. And nothing says that you have to marry right away either. You might enjoy a long engagement, go see the world, take up a hobby you’ve denied yourself since you were so busy before, or anything else you so choose.

“I know that you think that you absolutely must do everything with this debt of honour to get it out of the way. As much as you like to pretend that you are a man of mystery, I assure you, Harry, you are fairly simple to read from where I sit.”

While not expecting that speech from Narcissa Malfoy, of all people, what she said was true. He didn’t have to find a partner just then. He didn’t even have to get married if they managed to find someone who fit the conditions of the debt as soon as the person was found. He didn’t have to work. Between the comfortable savings his parents had left him and the Black family fortune and properties, Harry never had to do anything ever again that he didn’t want to do.

He was his own man, now that Voldemort was dead and his NEWTS were done.

“You know, no one’s ever said that to me. I just always assumed that I had to be something. Even when I withdrew from the Wizarding World after all the trials, I…knew that others expected a bunch of crap from me that I didn’t want and wasn’t ready for. That’s why I hid in the first place.”

“That is an understandable sentiment, Harry. Your whole life before now has been about other people. Even your agreement to come stay here at the Manor had to do with others. And while Draco and I are grateful for your agreement and your company, I do believe it is time that you thought about doing something for yourself.” One of her small hands reached up to cup his cheek in an affectionate gesture that startled Harry for a moment before he smiled at her.

“Are you just saying this to get me to do what you want?”

“Harry, you are talking to a former Slytherin. Nothing we do is ever for one reason only.” She patted his hands before standing. He stood up with her, following the example that Draco had set since Harry’s arrival. “But doesn't that negate the wisdom of my words, does it?”

“No, I guess not.”

“Good. I shall send my son to speak to you once he reappears. I believe it is time that you both discussed matters, no?”

“Uh, yeah, sure,” Harry said uncomfortably, just managing to keep from scratching the back of his head or scuffing his trainer on the carpet. No matter how much weird his life attracted, he didn’t know if he’d ever feel one hundred per cent at ease around Narcissa Malfoy, despite how nice she’d showed herself to truly be behind closed doors.

A voice in the back of his mind kept repeating that he was in the home were Dobby had been abused by Lucius Malfoy and that the regal woman he was watching leave the parlour had a hand in the death of his godfather—a voice that sounded suspiciously like Ron Weasley. And Harry knew that a part of him would’ve joined in with that internal shouting before the events of the night of the Final Battle. Now, though, things were different. He was fighting with Ron and there was a good chance that this was something that they couldn’t completely repair. He was actually living in Malfoy Manor with a family that had tried to kill him on more than one occasion.

And if that wasn’t strange enough, he was finding himself more and more attracted to a boy who he’d nearly killed when they were sixteen and had saved at least three times in the year just passed. And it was becoming increasingly obvious that they might even wind up joined to one another since everyone but Harry had some sort of insight into Malfoy’s desires.

It was no bloody wonder that Hermione was so worried about Harry’s sanity. None of it made any sense from outside perspective. Merlin, it barely made sense to Harry.

The sound of the door opening and closing gently caught Harry’s attention and he looked up, not at all surprised to find the Lord of the Manor standing in front of him. And he was beyond attractive in his grey silk shirt, fitted black slacks and matching robes. The desire that Harry’d been denying since he’d seen his former rival in the hospital nearly threatened to drown him and he had to swallow more than once before he could speak. “Hey.”

A pale eyebrow raised as Draco smiled softly. “Hello, Harry.”

Hearing his name said so gently, like a caress, was just what he needed to shake him out of the stupor. He frowned as he looked at the carpet. “I guess it’s time we had a talk.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Well, that hadn’t been exactly what Draco was expecting when his mother sent him into the parlour with all indications that Harry needed him. He was really hoping that he could skip all the unpleasant conversations for the rest of the day and go right to the snogging. Harry’s reddened, full lips were practically begging for a kiss in his opinion. However, he had resolved with himself earlier that he’d talk to Harry about the entire situation. It was the least that they could do to start the process of actually…getting to the fun parts of a relationship.

Without letting anything show on his face except mild curiosity, Draco sat down on the loveseat and waited for the other young man to join him. “I suppose it’s time that we discussed many things, yes. What did you have in mind in particular?”

Leaving it to Harry to start was probably for the best. If the Gryffindor was controlling the pace and topic, then he’d be less likely to run away or shut down. At least Draco hoped that that was the case. As it stood, it took him a while before he began.

“Well, there’s a plethora of topics we could go over, I guess, but I think for now we should probably talk about school,” Harry said quietly. The look on his face made it seem like this was the last thing he wanted to talk about but Draco was quiet as Harry took a deep breath and looked up at him with those bright green eyes. “You were a stuck up snob and an insufferable prat for years. And I don’t think I was much better.

“From the moment I met you before school actually started, I thought you were spoilt and inconsiderate. And pointy.”

Draco couldn’t help but huff under his breath. Leave it to the Gryffindor to not pull any punches. Even the comment about his features wasn’t entirely unexpected. “I remember seeing you in Madam Malkin’s shop that day,” Draco said as he thought back. “That was your birthday, wasn’t it?”

He was rewarded with a slight smile that faded quickly. “Yeah, the first one I’d ever really had that I could remember. My aunt and uncle…” Harry’s face grew hard as he looked at Draco directly, reminding him of other times they’d faced off over the years and a prickle of fear went down the blond’s spine. “My childhood sucked. I won’t go into it because it’s in the past now, but if we’re going to be…I dunno…I have to tell you some stuff. I want you to promise to listen to me and to not tell your mum or go running to the papers to talk about my shitty life before Hogwarts.”

“You have my word, Harry, that I won’t breathe a word of anything you tell me tonight to anyone,” Draco said earnestly, clamping suddenly sweaty hands on the edge of the loveseat. “I swear on my magic.”

The other man nodded and began speaking slowly, quietly. He spoke of how his mother’s sister had hated magic and the fact that Lily Evans seemed to have been stolen from the family by none other than Severus and the Wizarding World at large. How she and her repulsive husband had made his life hell; the cupboard under the stairs; his relationship with his cruel, overweight cousin; the fact that he hadn’t had friends until Hagrid had shown up on that nameless island in the middle of the North Sea; the first celebration of his actual birthday at eleven. Harry talked about his life and adventures until the Final Battle and Draco listened, his magic coiling tightly as he wondered how he could find out where these Dursleys lived and hating himself for his own behaviour in the grand scheme of the Saviour’s life.

Harry’s unwavering belief and trust in Weasley and Granger finally made more sense, as did his rejection of Draco. He couldn’t have imagined living through something like that. It…was just incomprehensible. The fact that Harry had lived and loved and survived despite Voldemort, his family, and the many dangers he’d been forced to face was a testament to his strength of character. It was a humbling and uncomfortable discussion for Draco, as it forced him to look at himself too closely.

“I had no idea,” Draco said when Harry was done.

“I know,” Harry replied, looking at him with a sort of peaceful expression on his face. “Only Ron and Hermione knew everything. Even Ginny and the rest of the Weasleys knew so much. I didn’t want anyone’s pity. I didn’t want to be the Boy Who Lived, either, but try telling you and Ron that when we were in school.”

“Severus and my father made it sound like you were pampered by your Muggle relatives and that you did everything you could to flaunt the rules. I…blindly followed everything they said about you.”

“And why wouldn’t you? Snape was your godfather and your father was your hero. I get it. Besides, I’d wounded your pride that time on the train and it only grew worse every time we were near each other.”

Draco couldn’t help but laugh self-deprecatingly. “We were both little prats, weren’t we?”

“Yeah, but I guess Sixth year changed that for both of us. The war was real then. You had your task and I had to learn how to take down Voldemort. Nothing about this was perfect and I think the deck was stacked against us from the beginning, Draco.”

He couldn’t help but frown in thought at the strange phrase, but it didn’t take much to figure out what it meant. “I suppose you’re right. We had roles and duties to fulfil that we didn’t really pick out.”

“Yeah, well, the fact of it is that we fulfilled them a little too well sometimes.”

“Our friends certainly helped us in that regard.”

“Yeah…” Harry kicked his feet on the carpet before looking up at Draco. It was impossible to tell what he was thinking and the blond wouldn’t have even known where to begin if he’d tried. “I’m sorry about Crabbe. We’d’ve saved him if we could. As it was, the rest of us barely made it out of there.”

Draco frowned as he thought about Vincent’s death in the Room of Lost Things. It was really the first time he’d allowed himself to do so since Harry and his friends had saved him and Gregory from the Fiendfyre. “By then, I’m not sure that Crabbe and Goyle were my friends. I don’t know if we were ever friends, not the same way you, Granger and Weasley were. Our fathers had being Death Eaters in common and we were expected to follow them exactly. And, well, we were under orders to capture you and take you to the Dark Lord. Vincent using Fiendfyre to try and kill us all wasn’t exactly on the agenda.”

“No, I thought not, but it helped me out in a way.”

“Glad to have been of service, then.” Draco smiled stiffly before he stood up and walked over to where Harry was sitting. He put out his hand for Harry to take or not, again, deciding that this was how he should have introduced himself so many years ago. “Hello. My name is Draco Lucius Malfoy. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

He was rewarded with a wry and pleased smile from Harry as he stood and took the offered hand. “Hello, Malfoy. Name’s Harry Potter. Yes, that Harry Potter. And no, I don’t do autographs.”

Draco raised an eyebrow at his companion and they both laughed.

TBC

June 2015

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